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Hiding Behind Depression?

I used to think that when I ran into a string of bad luck (break up, break down and break outs all at the same time) it was just a good excuse to have a pity party. The universe was working against me! Woe is me! Please put me out of misery [shakes fists at the sky]!

Once on that pity party train, depression would tend to set in and I would start eating as if tomorrow was the last day on earth. And when the world didn’t end, it was cause for celebration! Let’s eat! I am the happiest depressed person on the planet! Inevitably sweat pants become my best friend and fat jeans become the new skinny jeans. And then eventually, I fall off the planet and things start getting messy.

Welcome to 2011. I am depressed.

2011_0830_Orangutan

Usually, when I get to the point of I spending weekends in bed I know that I am in trouble. Life becomes a blur and I start stewing on the “what if’s” of my life. We’ve all played that game before. “If only [BLANK] were different, then things wouldn’t be the way they are.” This year, I’ve come to realize that the fill in the blank word in that last sentence is “I.” If only “I” were different, then things wouldn’t be this way. Let’s absorb that for a second. Breathe in. Breathe out.

I know. Big, right?

Not to marginalize clinical depression, but there are times when I feel that I hide behind it. Or I use a series of bad things that happen as an excuse to wallow. Is that terrible to say? Oh God, only I would use depression as a crutch. Using something debilitating to further debilitate me. Get me off this train, even I am embarrassed for myself.

The good news is, is that I am starting to realize it. There’s a pattern. I won’t bore you with the endless machinations of my life analysis, but I’ve come to realize that things always start to go awry when my life gets out of balance. When I spend too much time doing things I think need to and I don’t spend enough time doing things that I love – I suffer. And as a consequence, everyone else suffers. When I am not happy, I buy a ticket on the pity party train and whoosh we are off.

This, my friends is not rocket science. But in my 30 something years of existence, I haven’t been able to figure out why I keep buying tickets to dark places I never want to go. I am happy to say, however, that failure has never kept me from trying.

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